New Faculty Development Director Comes On Board

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I’m very excited to be starting this newly defined position as Director of Faculty Development this summer. As a longtime faculty member, I’ve always been impressed with the strong Faculty Development programs and resources UST has to offer. Past directors, in collaboration with associate director Pam Nice and office administrator Pat Alexander, have developed terrific training opportunities for faculty and – when I look around at other colleges and universities – I’m struck by the high level of grant support we’ve been able to maintain, even in these tough economic times. I’m grateful to outgoing director Sue Chaplin for her astute strengthening of the grant administration process, among many other accomplishments. My appreciation for the hard work and commitment of the FD committee enlarges with each meeting I attend. And I’m grateful to be working with Pam and Pat – skilled veterans in all administrative aspects of the Faculty Development Center.

My plan is to continue all the great programs already in place – why meddle with success? – and to explore ways to reach out even further to faculty. St. Thomas has grown in many ways in the last decade, and faculty demographics have changed significantly. Currently half of our fulltime faculty members have been here 10 years or less – we are becoming more youthful! In some areas, faculty are teaching more and more non-traditional students. Geographically, we are more spread out. We’ll need to think creatively about how to deliver training programs that reach everyone, and how to harness new technologies to enhance faculty access to innovative training and instruction. I’m interested in strengthening our ties with our Information Resources and Technologies group to continue building resources for online and blended course offerings, and to keep abreast of emerging innovative technologies to enhance all kinds of instruction. I’d also like to explore leadership training and skill-building possibilities for those already in leadership roles and for those who would like to be.

Though I plan to explore those ideas, a major priority for me during the first year will be to listen and learn. I’m anxious to hear what is on the minds of faculty members and to assess needs. As Sue Chaplin did four years ago, I plan to survey the faculty in the Fall – so please watch for that opportunity to let me know what you’re thinking. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me if you’d like to convey your thoughts about future directions for the Center.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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